January 31, 2012

Finicky Fabric Quirky Vintage Mod Garment

Dear Finicky Fabric,
I love a challenge, I really do. But as Brocade Lame you are not a peach. Why must you spite me?

Love, Melody

As a budget sewist I picked up my finicky fabric on the cheap, naturally.I thought it would be reminiscent of a mod vintage fabric like this one on etsy.
And looks a lot like the cover photo, no? You know I love a good vintage cover copycat.
Fabric Problems:

  • Stiff and itchy – A simple A-line design to work with the lack of movement in the fabric, sure that should do. Lining fabric for the body to repel the itch, excellent. 
  • Easily unravels – Do not trim SA (Seam Allowance). Serge, serge, serge and serge some more, likely excuse to use my new Brother overlock. 
  • Loosely woven – Again the lining fabric would help buffer, so I substituted it like an underlining fabric. This also helped control the darts as both plys are stitched as one, however this could be bulky in other scenarios; the finicky fabric is thin and my lining fabric is thin, should do 
  • The fabric hates all sewing needles – I changed out myriad needles and I still ended with areas of pulls and puckers in the finicky fabric structure along the seams (FYI, I hate those). What I am referring to us when your needle will not pierce the thread but pushes on it, pulling the entire grain (warp or weft thread) in the garment. So in the case of this fabric the needle would not pierce the gold threads but instead push them out of the stitching line causing pulls and puckers of the material around the grain being pushed. In retrospect I should have used a knit needle however this may have wreaked havoc on my lining fabric, what’s done is done, the dress is assembled. 
Along with the fabric construction issues I realized that hemming would give me grief. So I decided to implement a faced hem band. So at this point I was redesigning the look and I thought why stop there. I knew I would need to take my pattern out as I am broad shouldered and hippy. So I added a center back extension, this allowed me to add a heavy duty zip and back detail. Why stop there and I did not I added bias strips to the seams for even more zing.

Hem Band

Back zip extension

In the end a fun and quirky mod garment… where the heck am I going to wear this?
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